SDSU Research Foundation

Associate Director, Public Health Practice & Community Engagement

Req No.
Full-Time Contract
$7,250-8,750 monthly depending on experience
Dept/Proj Name


This position will remain open until filled. 


The Institute for Public Health (IPH) serves as a bridge between the public health academic community and public health practice. It supports the development of mutually beneficial partnerships between the San Diego State University (SDSU) School of Public Health (SPH), public health agencies, and private organizations. Our academic-practice partnerships are national, statewide, regional, and along the international border. These partnerships are intended to expand the base of knowledge for all individuals working in public health, and are facilitated through student field placements, internships, scholarships, collaborative faculty-practitioner research, program evaluation, technical assistance, continuing education, professional development, agency capacity building, and dissemination of health data and information. The IPH is a “values-driven” organization.


The IPH also serves as the cornerstone for SDSU’s partnership with Scripps Research Translational Institute, in which this position will take an active leadership role, with the goal of reducing health disparities and promoting health justice and equity in collaboration with Scripps Health, Scripps Research, and Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute (SWDI).


Overall:  The Associate Director of Public Health Practice & Community Engagement will have three primary responsibilities at the IPH: scientific and budgetary oversight of the public health practice portfolio, staff management, and grant/contract development.


Primary scientific oversight of ongoing IPH projects related to public health practice and community engagement includes projects such as needs assessments, professional education, strategic planning, program development, program evaluation, quality assurance/improvement, coalition building and maintenance, and technical assistance.


Staff management includes providing general oversight and direction to IPH Investigators and senior staff as well as hiring and training new staff as needed.


Grant and contract development includes researching available sources of funding, coordinating the writing of grant and contract applications, negotiating contracts, the establishing and monitoring scientific components of scopes of work, negotiating budgets with community partners, interfacing with the San Diego State University Research Foundation to ensure compliance with all programmatic and scientific grant and contract obligations.


The Associate Director will also manage Community Engagement activities on behalf of Scripps Research Translational Institute and Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute. Primary responsibilities will include project administration, partner outreach and engagement, and academic collaboration.


Project administration includes supporting strategic program planning and management; working with project teams to promote community engagement; project reporting; designing and managing evaluation systems; convening advisory board meetings; and presenting and co-authoring publications on community engagement work.


Partner outreach and engagement includes engaging with health equity stakeholders to promote partnerships and excellence in research, clinical care, and public health practice; assisting in the development and implementation of health initiatives to reduce health inequities.


Academic collaboration includes acting within the Scripps-SDSU partnership to leverage and enhance internal and external partnerships aligned with its mission, vision, and values; supporting scientist and trainee development in the context of community engagement; and supporting colleagues to incorporate community engagement into existing curricula and learning outcomes.


Under the direct supervision of Dr. Corinne McDaniels-Davidson, IPH Director, the person hired to this position will:





Institutional Relations (25%)

  • Liaise with Scripps leadership to plan and implement community engagement activities
  • Communicate with SDSU Research Foundation related to programmatic and scientific issues
  • Promote the Scripps-SDSU partnership with investigators across institutions

Obtaining and Maintaining Funding (20%)

  • Negotiate the programmatic, scientific, and budgetary components of contracts, grants, and scopes of work
  • Coordinate the development and implementation of public health practice and community engagement projects
  • Seek and apply for appropriate funding opportunities

Organizational Planning (15%)

  • Assist the Director, Finance & Operations Manager, and the IPH management team in determining and implementing a strategic plan for the Institute for Public Health
  • Lead IPH and Community Engagement meetings to discuss the progress and needs of IPH and Community Engagement projects
  • Ensure that staffing levels, funding levels, and pursuit of funding opportunities are balanced


Community Relations (15%)

  • Build and maintain active relationships with community partners and stakeholders
  • Participate in appropriate boards, task forces, and other advisory groups

IPH Management (15%)

  • Hire, train, and supervise staff
  • Provide direction, expertise, and oversight to principal investigators, programmatic staff, and administrative staff

Other Duties (10%)

  • Perform other related duties as required


Knowledge and Abilities

  • Program management or coordination experience
  • Demonstrated knowledge of applied research and/or evaluation
  • Ability to independently organize, oversee, coordinate, and assume responsibility for a variety of ongoing projects
  • Ability to analyze administrative problems and recommend effective action
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to occasionally work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends
  • Ability to follow through on assignments with attention to detail
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality in accordance with Information Security standards
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills and ability to work well with a variety of contacts in the health care and public health fields
  • Demonstrated experience developing and writing funded grants and contracts


  • 3+ years of progressively responsible program management experience.


  • PhD in a health-related field

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Experience partnering with community-based organizations
  • Public health practice experience
  • Ability to effectively network and advocate
  • Strong grasp of health equity and justice concepts


  • The COVID-19 vaccine is required by the CSU for all SDSU Research Foundation employees as a condition of employment.   Should you be offered a position, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination status.  Individuals who obtain an approved medical or religious exemption on file will be required to complete regular COVID-19 testing
  • A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with SDSU Research Foundation
  • San Diego State University Research Foundation is an EEO/AA/Disability/Vets Employer


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